A new series of studies shows that when people are reminded of their personal mortality, they tend to become more disposed toward the killing of nonhuman animals.
Graduate student Uri Lifshin and his colleagues at the University of Arizona conducted five studies to demonstrate this. So, when we heard that the paper describing their studies had been accepted for publication, we invited him to talk about it at the “I Am NOT an Animal!” symposium.
This is a short talk, squeezed into what was alreadya full schedule, but Uri gives an excellent overview of what he and his colleagues learned and how all of us in the animal protection world can benefit from their findings.
It makes no difference whether or not you care about animal rights.One of these findings, incidentally, is that it makes no difference whether you’re male or female, nor whether or not you care about animal rights: You’re still subject to the effect regardless. Any small, subconscious reminder of your own mortality will push you in the direction of being more supportive of killing other kinds of animals.
Another finding is that the effect may not be very noticeable. You might, for example, just find yourself making a case for “euthanizing” more homeless pets in shelters or for some kinds of “ethical” vivisection.
This 15-minute video has valuable info and is well-worth watching. And for some more background, check out the interview we did with Uri shortly before the symposium, in which he explains more about the studies and how they worked.